The big news is that the Liberals, Nationals and Greens have accepted the need for a Parliamentary inquiry
• the campaign to stop the un-necessary killing of healthy animals in pounds is working because we started with no one in the NSW Parliament but Clover Moore interested in companion animal welfare and now we have the Coalition, the Greens and many Independents publicly supporting an inquiry into companion animal welfare. This is a major achievement!
• however, we still have the stumbling block of the Government MPs, and a significant stumbling block it is as they have a big majority and control the Parliament
• the Government doesn’t see the electoral benefit in pursuing the matter – from their point of view they’ve done enough with the Companion Animals Act and Pet Shop Code of Practice (see letter from Ian Macdonald – coming!)
• the need is very strong to convince individual Government MPs by personal representations from real voters in their electorates: they need to understand that it is their voters in their local community who want this to happen
• as individual Government MPs become concerned that it is an electoral issue for them (Will it change votes? Will it make a safe seat marginal? Is it diverting attention from the matters they’d like to be talking about?) then those MPs will raise the matter within their party and ask the Premier and Minister for Primary Industries what he’s doing about the issue
• ultimately it is about electoral pressure: the merits of the companion animal welfare are not seen by Ministers as having electoral impact in the same way as say roads or hospitals – the people who do care about companion animal welfare need to speak up
• an inquiry is the best outcome because it will explore the issues – it might not solve them all but it will make inroads into the knowledge and education that is needed to commence positive policy change – even the opposers to the Bill are calling for more information (although they don’t want it done in an open and honest public inquiry by independent means)
• form letters are not effective the way personal representations are – tell your MP in your own words why companion animals matter and why it is up to the Parliament to show leadership in looking for solutions to the terrible annual death toll that comes from companion animal overpopulation
• the message is simple – we need an inquiry because 60,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed every year in NSW; this is needless cruelty sanctioned by the state if they choose not to even explore options for reducing this death toll
We know that the opponents to the need for positive change and the Bill are spooked and relying on increasingly drastic form letters to the Ministers – witness this recent letter that went out with very weak arguments as to why change is not necessary or even why they don’t want an inquiry. Read here… . We are very disappointed to see Sydney Dog and Cat Home and the NSW Branch of the Animal Welfare League join their ranks.
What you can do?
If you have had a positive response from your Minister – ie they have said they will support the inquiry – please write, email or phone to thank them for their positive response and that you look forward to supporting them in return.
If you have had a reply from the Premier or your Labor Minister saying that they have forwarded your message on to Minister Ian Macdonald, please write back saying something along the lines that you are disappointed with their response and that you are looking for their personal response on the issue – if they disagree with the Bill – why? And if they disagree with the call for an Inquiry- Why?
Please say that this is now an election AND VOTING issue for you.
If you have not yet written and you live in a Labor electorate – please do so now, and a personal visit with the Minister to discuss this is even better.
Guidelines for lobbying and personal visits to a Mister – download here
If you write, please write in your own words, but the core messages are:
• Every year the numbers of animals entering pounds and shelters increases – despite government efforts in Animal Welfare – ie what has been tried is not working
• Last year more than 60,000 healthy cats and dogs were killed – not acceptable
• If you work in animal rescue, or volunteer in some capacity in rescue or pounds, please tell some of your story and make it come alive for the Minister (the reality is that most Ministers have no idea what goes on in pounds and how much work rescuers have to put in)
• If they don’t agree with the Bill in its current form, then they must agree to a parliamentary inquiry where all relevant facts and information will be revealed. If not – why not? What reasons do they have?
If you are a rescue worker or pound volunteer – tell your Minister about the teriible toll you witmess every day – they don’t see it! They don’t understand it!
Please act now. Call in a favour from your neighbour, your hairdresser, your dog or cat parlour staff, everyone in your family, your friends. We must make your Labor Minister understand the depth of feeling around this subject and that the public expect action in the form of an Inquiry.
Numerous letters, emails, phone calls and visits will make this message clear. Lets have Two thousand people ask 3 friends to help with this task.
As Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop and universal activist said:
“Do something. Do anything. Just do something”
Petition to Nathan Rees, NSW premier……
We are 70 or so short of our target of 1000 signatures to the NSW Premier. If you haven’t already done so , please sign our petition to NSW Premier Nathan Rees calling for an independent Inquiry into the NSW pet industry, and please ask any of your animal loving friends, family and colleagues to sign.
This is the last chance as we want to get the petition away this week now.
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We are asking your permission to keep sending this periodic information. In return our promise is that we will work hard to bring you relevant information that will help you understand what is going on and to decide how you would like to be involved in being part of the solution. And please pass the information around and get your animal loving friends on board! People power will carry the day eventually, and the animals need more people to bat for them.
Right now much of the action is NSW centric, as Clover Moore’s Animal Regulation of Sale Bill 2008 has acted as a massive catalyst for debate and action.
Please though stay tuned and involved if you live outside of NSW because progress in NSW will invariably have an impact on other States.
‘I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything. But I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do”